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Classical The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard P. Feynman

  1. Strongly Recommend

  2. Lightly Recommend

  3. Lightly don't Recommend

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  4. Strongly don't Recommend

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  1. Jan 22, 2013 #1

    I like Serena

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2013 #2

    I like Serena

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    Re: The Feynman Lectures on Physics

    Mmh, I forgot to make it a poll.
    And I don't know quite how to categorize it, since they contain both classical physics and quantum physics.
    Ah well, I'll just make it Classical for now. It's mostly volume III that is about quantum physics.
  4. Jan 22, 2013 #3
    Re: The Feynman Lectures on Physics

    I added the poll for ya and added the author in the title :)
  5. Jan 22, 2013 #4
    A Must Have Series in Every Physicists BookCase. Used this High to till yet (Undergraduate).
  6. Jan 22, 2013 #5


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    This is a book every physicist should own. I still get something out of it every time I dip into it. I would not recommend it as a text to learn physics from initially, partly because there aren't any homework problems. For first-time learners who can handle this level of math and this intellectual level, I'd suggest Kleppner and Kolenkow for mechanics, and Purcell for E&M.
  7. Jan 22, 2013 #6
    I would agree with this. I enjoy parts of the Feynman Lectures so much more if I already know the subject, than if I am learning it for the first time; he often describes it in a different way than what I first experienced, so the multiple points of view, and intellectual charisma of Richard Feynman is always soothing.
  8. Jan 22, 2013 #7
    One of the most enjoyable reads ever. I always end up learning something when I decide to break them out, even though I've read the majority of the chapters a few times already.
  9. Jan 23, 2013 #8


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    Not good as a text, but spectacular physics books to facilitate thinking about physics.
  10. Jan 25, 2013 #9


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    There are, or were, three separate, slim, volumes with problems.
  11. Jan 26, 2013 #10

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    Volume 1. Mainly mechanics, radiation, and heat

    Preface: "When new ideas came in, I would try either to deduce them if they were deducible or to explain that it was a new idea ... and which was not supposed to be provable."
    Chapter 1. Atoms in motion
    Chapter 2. Basic Physics
    Chapter 3. The relation of physics to other sciences
    Chapter 4. Conservation of energy
    Chapter 5. Time and distance
    Chapter 6. Probability
    Chapter 7. The theory of gravitation
    Chapter 8. Motion
    Chapter 9. Newton's laws of dynamics
    Chapter 10. Conservation of momentum
    Chapter 11. Vectors
    Chapter 12. Characteristics of force
    Chapter 13. Work and potential energy (A)
    Chapter 14. Work and potential energy (conclusion)
    Chapter 15. The special theory of relativity
    Chapter 16. Relativistic energy and momentum
    Chapter 17. Space-time
    Chapter 18. Rotation in two dimensions
    Chapter 19. Center of mass; Moment of inertia
    Chapter 20. Rotation in space
    Chapter 21. The harmonic oscillator
    Chapter 22. Algebra
    Chapter 23. Resonance
    Chapter 24. Transients
    Chapter 25. Linear systems and review
    Chapter 26. Optics: The principle of least time
    Chapter 27. Geometrical optics
    Chapter 28. Electromagnetic radiation
    Chapter 29. Interference
    Chapter 30. Diffraction
    Chapter 31. The origin of the refractive index
    Chapter 32. Radiation damping. Light scattering
    Chapter 33. Polarization
    Chapter 34. Relativistic effects in radiation
    Chapter 35. Color vision
    Chapter 36. Mechanisms of seeing
    Chapter 37. Quantum behavior
    Chapter 38. The Relation of Wave and particle viewpoints
    Chapter 39. The kinetic theory of gases
    Chapter 40. The principles of statistical mechanics
    Chapter 41. The brownian movement
    Chapter 42. Applications of kinetic theory
    Chapter 43. Diffusion
    Chapter 44. The laws of thermodynamics
    Chapter 45. Illustrations of thermodynamics
    Chapter 46. Ratchet and pawl
    Chapter 47. Sound. The wave equation
    Chapter 48. Beats
    Chapter 49. Modes
    Chapter 50. Harmonics
    Chapter 51. Waves
    Chapter 52. Symmetry in physical laws

    Volume 2. Mainly electromagnetism and matter

    Chapter 1. Electromagnetism
    Chapter 2. Differential calculus of vector fields
    Chapter 3. Vector integral calculus
    Chapter 4. Electrostatics
    Chapter 5. Application of Gauss' law
    Chapter 6. The electric field in various circumstances
    Chapter 7. The electric field in various circumstances (continued)
    Chapter 8. Electrostatic energy
    Chapter 9. Electricity in the atmosphere
    Chapter 10. Dielectrics
    Chapter 11. Inside dielectrics
    Chapter 12. Electrostatic analogs
    Chapter 13. Magnetostatics
    Chapter 14. The magnetic field in various situations
    Chapter 15. The vector potential
    Chapter 16. Induced currents
    Chapter 17. The laws of induction
    Chapter 18. The Maxwell equations
    Chapter 19. The principle of least action
    Chapter 20. Solutions of Maxwell's equations in free space
    Chapter 21. Solutions of Maxwell's equations with currents and charges
    Chapter 22. AC circuits
    Chapter 23. Cavity resonators
    Chapter 24. Waveguides
    Chapter 25. Electrodynamics in relativistic notation
    Chapter 26. Lorentz transformations of the fields
    Chapter 27. Field energy and field momentum
    Chapter 28. Electromagnetic mass
    Chapter 29. The motion of charges in electric and magnetic fields
    Chapter 30. The internal geometry of crystals
    Chapter 31. Tensors
    Chapter 32. Refractive index of dense materials
    Chapter 33. Reflection from surfaces
    Chapter 34. The magnetism of matter
    Chapter 35. Paramagnetism and magnetic resonance
    Chapter 36. Ferromagnetism
    Chapter 37. Magnetic materials
    Chapter 38. Elasticity
    Chapter 39. Elastic materials
    Chapter 40. The flow of dry water
    Chapter 41. The flow of wet water
    Chapter 42. Curved space

    Volume 3. Quantum mechanics

    Chapter 1. Quantum behavior
    Chapter 2. The relation of wave and particle viewpoints
    Chapter 3. Probability amplitudes
    Chapter 4. Identical particles
    Chapter 5. Spin one
    Chapter 6. Spin one-half
    Chapter 7. The dependence of amplitudes on time
    Chapter 8. The Hamiltonian matrix
    Chapter 9. The ammonia maser
    Chapter 10. Other two-state systems
    Chapter 11. More two-state systems
    Chapter 12. The hyperfine splitting in hydrogen
    Chapter 13. Propagation in a crystal lattice
    Chapter 14. Semiconductors
    Chapter 15. The independent particle approximation
    Chapter 16. The dependence of amplitudes on position
    Chapter 17. Symmetry and conservation laws
    Chapter 18. Angular momentum
    Chapter 19. The hydrogen atom and the periodic table
    Chapter 20. Operators
    Chapter 21. The Schrödinger equation in a classical context: a seminar on superconductivity
  12. Aug 6, 2013 #11


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    I'm going to be starting my university physics sequence in the spring, and I'm planning on getting some supplementary material sometime between now and then. Would the Feynman Lectures be an appropriate choice for supplementary material in an introductory University Physics sequence? The topics seem to be pretty similar to the topics that are contained in it. I've read countless glowing reviews about the Feynman Lectures, and as people have mentioned in this thread too, it sounds like these are some books that every physicist/physics student should own.

    If so, what's the best version to purchase? I was looking at the boxed set that was published in January 2011, https://www.amazon.com/The-Feynman-...d=1375771153&sr=8-1&keywords=feynman+lectures

    I've read some reviews about this box set getting revamped later in 2011 to include a "Tips on Physics" section, along with a bunch of extra supplementary material. I've read a little bit about this idea getting scrapped though, in favor of publishing a separate volume of "Tips on Physics." This is what I've found on Amazon... https://www.amazon.com/Feynmans-Tip...2817&sr=1-1&keywords=feynmans+tips+on+physics Would it be a good idea to pick this up along with the Lectures?

    I'm also seeing another version of the Feynman Lectures that was published in Oct 2011, but they don't appear to be offered in a box set, and they're paperback, rather than hardcover. Are they worth getting instead of the ones from January 2011? Is there any significant difference?

    Any input would be much appreciated! :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  13. Aug 6, 2013 #12


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    The Feynman lectures are simply marvelous. It's fun to read and very instructive (particularly vol. 2 on electrodynamics; vol. 3 on quantum theory is a bit weaker but also worth studying).
  14. Aug 6, 2013 #13


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    So would they be suitable for an undergrad that's getting their first exposure to calculus based physics? I'll have a separate required textbook for the classes obviously, but would these be suitable for supplements? I gather that they would be, but I want to make sure before I drop the coin on them.

    Do you happen to know anything about the differences between the different editions? It sounds like there have been a TON of errors corrected through the years. Compared with the original editions, it sounds like over 1000 errors have been corrected in the newer versions.

    Thanks for the input!!
  15. Aug 8, 2013 #14


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    Although written to be "freshmen" books, the Feynman lectures for sure are not the book to start with. There should be some familiarity with physics. I'd recommend them for students in the 2nd year as theoretical-physics books. Also, before you buy any book, you should borrow it from the library before and check whether you like them!
  16. Apr 15, 2014 #15
    Note that the Feynman lectures are now available for free online:


    I'm assuming it's legit since it's through the Caltech website...

    (Maybe add this link to the top post?)
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